The Perfect Negroni at Dante NYC

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During Negroni week, arguably the dopest week of the year, me and the gov’na rendezvoused over libations at this quaint, yet highly recommended Italian Bistro. It’s a joint that I’ve read much about, but up until now, I hadn’t had the pleasure.

At first impression, the inside makes you want to redo your sorry excuse of a kitchen.  Plants, white accents, natural light, classic tiling oozes vintage Greenwich Village, but rings contemporary as well. The outside makes you want to judge with  distinguished authority.

Breezy Parisian seating on the south end of Macdougal provides ample space for relaxation, and enough traffic for people watching. The houses across the way are painted vibrant hues. Every once in a while a UPS truck will block your view, and a dog from the far table will bark at the delivery man. The wind picks up, and dares to swipe your napkin from the table. The glassware is sparkling, vintage looking, but is actually new and from the supplier cocktail kingdom.

The drinks are crisp, tart, impressionable.

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I took this vermillion baddie of a drink.

The Negroni moves across your palette like models on a Milanese runway. Smooth, practiced, and full-bodied this cocktail was awarded the prestige of a Triple Crown Drink, which places it alongside the company of the Manhattan and Martini.

Originating in Florence, when Mr. Negroni asked for Gin instead of soda in an Americano. Bold move. The bartender, feeling himself, threw in an orange wedge just because. And like magic, Mr. Negroni slated his own gold star in the walk of cocktail fame.

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This tall, tan and handsome drink is the Garibaldi.

We got the juice, forreal, we got Orange juice. Blended until fluffy, then they pour Campari into polished glass. Easy to assemble, but noteworthy. Its another of the bar’s favorites, but has proliferated throughout the world as a distinguished summer beverage.

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Dante is a place that has, with evidence backing it, a mastery of its craft. To me its a perfected version of what it embodies, a laid back, but visually tickling tavern that specializes in Italian Food & Drink. You can get a banging Espresso, Bolognese, or Flatbread, but I’d always recommend one of their drinks.

Negroni

Pile in an Old Fashioned Glass filled with ice, stir 5 times, and garnish.

Garibaldi

  • 1 1/2 ounces of Campari
  • Fresh Orange Juice
  • Orange Wedge for Garnish

Blend the OJ until foamy, pour into an iced Collins Glass and garnish.

Con Amor,

Alexander Cohiba

 

Insta: @Dantenewyorkcity

 

 

4 Class Alternatives to your Basic Friend the Gin and Tonic

In recent history, the Gin and Tonic has somehow made its way back into the realm of ‘acceptable’ at cocktail bars and parties. I’m here to clarify—the Gin and Tonic is the best worst drink at the bar. Why do I say this? Because it’s reliable, cheap, but is still, at the end of the day, a basic well drink.  It’s the only drink that you can condense into two letters, yell at a bartender over a chaotic club, and they’ll be like, ‘gotcha.’ It has its purposes.

I know some people who try to spice things up by adding cucumber or strawberries to the mix, but honestly, they need to settle down. My boss has a single gin that he designates as ‘his’ gin for ‘his’ gin-tonics, and there’s nothing worse. (kidding)

Learning some tricks for your ordering game is imperative for clambering up that social ladder, because 1. The bartender may not know it, and then you have something to yammer about while they google how to make one. 2. People stare at you in awe. 3. The only genuine reason: there’s nothing satisfying about having that bedrock drink for every night you go out, especially when it’s a G & T.

So, here are four alternate gin cocktails, barring any occasion that comes up.

gin-rickey

Gin Rickey

Out of the four, the Gin Rickey is the mysterious one. The one that rings a bell somewhere far off, but no, your friends have never tried it. It’s best reserved for that hipster pub that prides itself on its cocktails. They may serve truffle mac and cheese and have an actual fireplace. With a tart taste from muddled lime, and a refreshing finish, the Gin Rickey is just a nuance away from your old pal the G & T.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces of Gin 1 lime

Club soda Simple syrup to taste

With a highball glass of ice, begin by adding Gin. Juice the lime, add and drop in the peels. Top off with Club Soda. Add simple syrup and stir to taste.

gimlet

Gimlet

The Gimlet is the regal one, reserved for upscale cocktail houses where you probably won’t see me. It’s exotic, great for catching up with friends that are visiting town, and emphasizing how much you’ve changed since moving to the big city. Served in a true cocktail glass, this emerald of a drink leaves no mystery to why it was Betty Draper’s go-to. The taste is strong, and tart, best had in small sips.

Ingredients:

2 ounces gin 1/2 ounce lime juice

1 lime wedge

tom-collins

Tom Collins

The eldest of the four, the Tom Collins is considered one of the original cocktails. This means that unless you have an experienced vet behind the bar, it’ll turn out nearly unpalatable.  So save this for a bar that you trust. It’s also suited for your friend who uses the verb ‘imbibe.’ You can pontificate your pretensions to each other. The drink can vary from sweet, to sour, to strong depending on how your bartender makes it.

Ingredients:

2 ounces gin 3 ounces club soda

1 ounce lemon juice 1 teaspoon sugar

1 maraschino cherry 1 orange wedge

In an iced shaker, add gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake, and strain into a collins glass 3/4 full of ice cubes. Top of with club soda and stir. Drop the cherry and garnish with the orange.

french-75

French 75

Gin and champagne. This drink was created for after-works when you’ve accomplished something big, and find it superfluous to go home before reconvening to celebrate. Try that coveted Midtown bar, and splurge. Your french friend will deny it’s of their descent, that is until they’ve tried it. This drink is the smoothest of the four, and is by far the most festive.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces of Gin 2 teaspoons of sugar

1 1/2 ounces of lemon juice 4 ounces of chilled champagne

Orange slice for garnish

Shake Gin, sugar and lemon juice and pour into a Collins glass.

Top off the glass with champagne, stir and garnish.

Con Amor,

Alexander Cohiba